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Education activities review: May 7-11

May 11, 2012

A message to you all from Terry Thompson:

The Research Reserve is sad to announce that one of our key team members and friend, Megan Murphy, has resigned to take another position here in Homer. Megan has shown us all her skills as a science communicator, facilitator and trainer over the last 3 years by leading the Coastal Training Program to new heights. All of us at the Reserve are very sorry to see her go. She will be missed! We sincerely wish her the best in her new position as the Program Coordinator at MAPP (Mobilizing for Action through Planning and Partnership).

Pre-K – 12th grade coastal science education

Jessica took our Could It Happen Here? Habitat Mapping and Oil Spill Preparedness Discovery Lab program across the bay on Monday to share with K-12 students in Port Graham. Funding to develop and deliver this program in Kodiak, Seldovia, Nanwalek, and Port Graham was provided by the Prince William Sound Regional Citizens’ Advisory Council.

Jess and Carmen provided Estuary Ecology Hikes for 47 Homer 3rd grade students this week. The groups learned about the importance of estuaries as salmon habitat, experienced the marsh plants and mud up close and personal, and marveled at Sandhill Cranes, Northern Pintails, and the spring’s first swallows.

Jess and Carmen were roving Tide Guides at Bishops Beach during the extreme low tide (-5.4 feet) on Tuesday, providing tidepool etiquette advice and marine biology information to teachers and students all over the beach. The AK Maritime National Wildlife Refuge also provided 2 staff to work as Tide Guides on the beach. Over 400 Homer students were exploring the beach that morning!

Public events

Our public events this week were all part of the Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival. Wednesday’s Junior Birder Lab drew 35 young birders (with their parents) working toward earning a Jr. Birder Badge and prizes. This lab will be repeated tomorrow for out-of-town visitors and local youngsters who couldn’t make the mid-week lab. On Thursday 56 people joined Carmen for her annual Alaska’s Amazing Seabirds presentation.

This afternoon Carmen will co-lead with Refuge staff a Family Bird Walk for birdwatchers of all ages at Beluga Lake. Participants for this walk will explore the new path & viewing platform at the end of FAA Street by the Homer Airport, recently constructed by Homer student Erick Paulsrud and a team of volunteers.

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